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Smart Specialisation: From Academic Idea to Political Instrument, the Surprising Career of a Concept and the Difficulties Involved in its Implementation

Smart Specialisation: From Academic Idea to Political Instrument, the Surprising Career of a Concept and the Difficulties Involved in its Implementation

 

Foray, David, and Hall (2011) stated that stakeholders have so far appreciated the existence of the smart specialisation concept. Back in 2008, experts believed that smart specialisation would rapidly and significantly influence the policy audience, especially in the European Union (EU). Therefore, the theory has been treated as an excellent case of “policy running ahead of theory”, because the concept of smart specialisation represents a policy success, and policy makers do express extensive involvement in the direction of smart specialisation (S3); however, the academic concept is not seen as a full concept.

 

“Political Salience”

 

Because several arguments for smart specialisation and its tools are based on desires rather than empirical evidence, a growing gap between policy theory and practice is arising. Foray, David, and Hall (2011) uncovered and clarified statements and arguments that enforced this “political salience” regarding S3. This “political salience” usually compels policy makers enthusiastic to “do it”, although the policy is only theoretical at this point. Additionally, the authors outline a research agenda, which indicates problems of essential understanding, practical observations, and measures and operationalisation of the valuation of S3 potential as well as the instruments needed to implement and use the concept of political salience.

 

Online S3 provides support to lead the application and develop an adequate evidence base to support the implementation process of S3.

 

For more information regarding this paper, please follow this link: https://infoscience.epfl.ch/record/170252

 

Reference

Foray, D., David, P. A., & Hall, B. H. (2011). Smart specialisation: From academic idea to political instrument, the surprising career of a concept and the difficulties involved in its implementation (No. EPFL-WORKING-170252). EPFL.

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